Tender, delicious, sandwich- & toast-worthy bread, made in minutes with split red lentils, coconut flour & oil (plus water & salt)! It is super-easy to make, and also grain-free, vegan, & sugar-free.
I started the week with some “wow.” Let’s keep it going.
No. Let’s amp it up. After all, it’s Friday.
Introducing a brand new bread, one you have never seen before: Red Lentil Sandwich Bread.
You can eat it any which way you like, but it is especially excellent as a sandwich bread (hence the title), because–I kid you not–it tastes a lot like tender, old-fashioned, fine-crumb white bread.
It’s not “wow.” It’s “WOW!!!!!!”
I was so jazzed by my lentil tortilla recipe success that I decided to see what else I could conjure with soaked, pureed lentils. It’s true; a blender full of lentil mush gets my creative juices flowing.
My first thought was to try another form of flatbread, perhaps something similar to a focaccia. I know that coconut flour works well in combination with chickpea flour, so I added a few tablespoons, along with salt and some oil. I made that first batch free-form on a baking sheet, slid it into the oven, and waited.
About 18 minutes later, I had a smooth, risen flatbread. It was too uniform and dense to be focaccia, but, after a taste test (and a big glass of water; it was dry), I knew I was on the right track. It was already tasting like a smooth white bread, but I had added far too much coconut flourand too little oil and baking powder.
I kept trying. And then I got it right. My final product is crazy good, ridiculously easy, inexpensive, and all-around wonderful on so many levels. I am thrilled to share it with all of you!
Before the how-to, here’s what you need to know about this bread. It is:
*requires only 3 ingredients (other than water & salt)
*takes about 5 minutes to make & 20 minutes to bake
Ok, the 5 minutes prep time is, admittedly misleading. You will also need to set aside 30 seconds the night before to combine 1 cup of split red lentils with 2 cups water. Cover and let them sit at least 6 hours, until they are plumped up, like this:
When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F, and line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Go ahead and lightly spray or grease the exposed sides of the pan, too. While the freeform test loaf was ok, the bread rises more evenly when baked in a pan. It’s also easier. I like easy.
Now, the batter: add the lentils & their soaking water to a blender and blend on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the remaining ingredients (coconut flour, oil, baking powder & salt) and blend until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top, and bake! In about 20 minutes, you’ve got WONDER BREAD.
You can slice the bread into 16 squares (it is quite filling!), but for longer pieces (sandwich style), cut the bread into 4 quarters, then cut each quarter in half. Slice each rectangle in half, horizontally.
Split pieces–squares or oblongs–are also perfect for toast. Yes, TOAST! This is great toasting bread, so cue the spreads, jams, and jellies.
Get those lentils soaking, and give this bread a try, everyone! If you have a mom in your life (yourself included) who is going grain-free, this would be a much welcome gift on Sunday!
Happy baking, and here’s to Fridays with plenty of wow!
- 1 cup split red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup coconut flour (lightly spoon to measure; do not pack)
- 3 tablespoons oil (I used avocado; use what you prefer)
- 2-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine the rinsed lentils and water in a medium bowl or other container; loosely cover. Let stand, at room temperature, for at least 6 hours or up to 12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper; spray or grease exposed sides.
- Do not drain lentils.
- Add the entire contents of bowl (soaked lentils and remaining water) and salt to a blender. Blend on HIGH speed until completely smooth (no tiny bumps) stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of container.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the blender; blend until combined, stopping to scrape down once or twice. Spoon and spread into prepared pan, smoothing the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 19 to 23 minutes or until bread is risen, appears dry on the surface, and a toothpick inserted near center of bread comes out clean.
- Cool bread in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Use parchment to remove bread from pan and cool completely, or serve warm. Cut into 16 squares or 8 larger rectangles (for sandwich-size pieces).
Serving tip: Although the bread is still good when cold, it is most delicious when warmed a little bit. 8-10 seconds in the microwave is perfect.
Tip: Split red lentils have become widely available in recent years. You can find them in most grocery stores, shelved alongside other dry beans and legumes. They are not expensive, either (about $2.50 for a 1-piound bag, depending on where you live).
Tip: Be sure to use split, not whole red lentils for this recipe. It should not be a problem as split red lentils are far more common (whole red lentils tend to be available in Southeast Asian markets, or, occasionally, in bulk food sections of very well stocked natural foods stores.